Ortelius, Abraham, 1527-1598.
Theatrvm orbis terrarvm.
Antverpiae: Plantin Press, 1584.

When the Theatrum orbis was first printed in 1570, Europeans had never visited much of the world. Ortelius, one of the greatest early cartographers, was not an experienced traveler or explorer. He was instead an enthusiastic reader, researcher, and assembler of the travel literature of his time.

All early editions of Ortelius are of considerable rarity, but in the case of this 1584 edition from the Plantin Press, the scarcity is rather extreme. This edition is the first from Plantin Press and, thus, the first issue of these fine plates. It contains nineteen more maps than any other edition until 1598, when the Plantin Press made another issue from the same plates. Nine maps show America, and all show California correctly as a peninsula.
It has been learned that the coloring of the plates was not only done at the press, but actually by Ortelius' maiden sisters who worked at the press for this particular production.



Announcements | Digital Information Resources | General Information
People | Library Services | University Library

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign